This morning I indulged in a little self care (it’s been a rough week) and had a pedicure from my favorite, Tina. She was dressed in festive red with a Santa hat, and as I got settled, she gave me a box of chocolates. I gave her a Starbucks gift card, as Starbucks is next door and I often run into her there.
It was early, so the place wasn’t full yet. Vee and Ken own the place, and Vee was there, and Ken rolled in about 9:45 with their darling daughter. She was carrying a tinfoil tray and I said, “Oh! Did you bring cookies?”
Not cookies, but egg rolls. Egg rolls! Ken and his daughter began handing them out. Why not have an egg roll with my latte and pedicure? And it occurred to me what a thoughtful thing that was to do, to bring the food of their culture to celebrate the holidays on Christmas Eve eve. I’ve never had an egg roll at 9:45 in the morning, but it was delicious and I would do it again.
I’m hyper-aware of people’s thoughtfulness right now. My dad died three days ago, and normal life gets absolutely pierced with grief at random moments and usually when someone says something really kind, like ‘what can I do for you’ or ‘I’m praying you and your family’ or ‘I remember at your wedding your dad told me Americans don’t drink enough champagne, so I’m working on that’.
He has been gone three days now, which in some strains of Jewish thought is the amount of time it takes for the soul to leave the body. If that is the case, then he is really gone now and he will start hearing me talk to him, which I have been doing. Mostly it’s to thank him, and tell him I miss him already, and to ask him please to give Mom a sign that everything will be okay. And then, because I’m being rather theologically decadent, I tell myself that he is so busy being awestruck and greeting his parents and his sister and his in-laws and best friend that he hasn’t turned his attention back to us.
My dad had a pedicure at the spa once. He and my mom were visiting, and their feet needed work. He was charming the ladies and joking with them while Mom rolled her eyes. He was delighted to get his toenails trimmed, and his callouses scrubbed. What incarnate things we are; how little it takes to make us happy.
Had they been serving egg rolls on that day when he got a pedicure, I imagine he would have had one with his latte. He was that kind of guy, generous and grateful for the generosity of others, whatever form that generosity took.
I will miss him more than I know, three days into this new reality. His absence will not be filled, but it will be soothed by kindness, by thoughtfulness, and lattes, and champagne, and egg rolls.
Requiem in pacem.